The University of Virginia announced Monday that it has expanded its voluntary asymptomatic virus testing program to include UVA employees who are working on Grounds.
Today’s announcement identified the following employee groups as immediately eligible to participate in voluntary saliva testing:
- Benefits-eligible (full-time and part-time) academic faculty and staff, including those in the School of Medicine and School of Nursing.
- Academic Division temporary workers and non-benefits-eligible (full-time and part-time) wage employees.
- Employees of the Medical Center, University Physician’s Group and Community Medicine.
- Post-doctoral fellows.
- ROTC personnel.
The expanded saliva testing option is intended for those employees who are actively working on Grounds. University contractors working on Grounds, visiting professors and visiting scholars, and employees working in UVA facilities outside the Central Virginia region also remain eligible for voluntary asymptomatic testing using Let’s Get Checked kits at no cost to the employee.
In a message to the University community, Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Mitch Rosner, Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis thanked UVA employees for working together and for their dedication during the pandemic.
“We recognize the difficulty and uncertainty this pandemic has created for members of this community, and we continue to focus on developing the tools and resources it takes for you to do your jobs safely and effectively,” the message said.
The University said the expanded employee saliva tests initially will be administered during walk-in hours at the University’s saliva testing clinics. UVA plans to release a new platform soon for students and employees to schedule saliva testing appointments.
The saliva tests take only about 10 minutes to complete. Results are typically known within 72 hours. Employees must present a valid UVA ID card. Those without a UVA ID card should contact the UVA Academic ID card office to request one. Employees should not attempt to complete saliva testing if they are currently in isolation or quarantine or if they have tested positive in the last 90 days. Those planning to submit a saliva sample should refrain from eating, drinking (including water), brushing teeth, using mouthwash, chewing gum or using tobacco for at least 30 minutes before submitting the saliva sample at the test location.
More information about testing locations and hours, and other conditions related to the tests are available at UVA’s Be SAFE site.
The saliva program is only for employees who are asymptomatic. An employee with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should follow instructions for testing found here. More information is available at the Return to Grounds site.
Throughout the pandemic, UVA has steadily increased the capacity and availability of the saliva tests, and the University previously said it had developed enough capacity to enable testing every student – on Grounds and off – once a week.